UCA's Anthony Heywood's work "Earth Elephant 16" was featured at the recent Contemporary Art Biennale in Iran.
Anthony says of the work:
"There is an ever increasing political and social demand for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly society which engages strongly with how we are treating the planet and its natural resources. The research intends to engage with both recent and traditional methods of recycling technology to create more sustainable sources of recycling paper/plastics and timber making whilst also testing ideas using recycling of manufactured products some of which would be articulated into the making of the sculpture. Recent legislation is emerging that will affect the way in which products and processes are developed, manufactured and disposed of at the end of their useful lives. This legislation is stimulating the search for alternative methods of considering how we re-evaluate this mass of society’s detritus and use of generating recycling and sustainable sources of using and recycling paper products. My research is intended to encourage audiences to become more environmentally friendly in interacting with the sculpture produced. Significant amounts of research are being undertaken throughout Europe, aiming to improve the performance and viability of more easily disposed of environmentally friendly materials so that they may replace more traditional systems. This movement of concerns is informing everything from design of utilities to how goods are wrapped and how we recycle.
In this work, context and content informs an image that does not suffer from isolation, nor is it neutralised. The catalyst was a newspaper item which was about the indescrimate slaughter of elephants simply for their ivory tusks. Apart from the obvious, and very relevant, considerations of suffering and conservation it was the ultimate irrationality of this barbaric act that engaged me to do the work, as I felt that as an artist I wanted to show my concern for the plight of the elephants. Why does ivory have such value and why do we allow the simple law of supply and demand- as applied not to basic essentials, but to conspicuous consumption, to exercise such a gross tyranny over our planet? The work therefore challenges traditional notions, initially by evoking classicism, a form which utilised materials of both symbolic and intrinsic value which would age gracefully. This idea of long term appreciation and value is quite obviously alien, not only to the procurers and purveyors of ivory, but too much of contemporary culture. Ironically, the medium of the newspaper, which was responsible for disseminating the plight of the elephants, is also responsible for the dissemination of a great deal of information and entertainment which is arguably of dubious value. An outdated newspaper which is not performing the function for which it was designed, is a peculiarly bereft- the very epitome of vacuity-no longer fresh news. The body of an elephant slaughtered solely for possession of its tusks is the detritus of a supply created to meet the demand of a particular rarefied ostentatious and perverted refinement of taste."
Further information can be found at http://www.icabiennale.org/index.php/Anthony_Heywood